You can make excuses for not achieving what you want to in life: your age, where you come from or your upbringing, but ultimately it’s up to you!
From living in a rural part of Scotland, to winning multiple awards and gaining recognition at a UK-level, I know first-hand that with hard work dreams can come true!
Below are my three top lessons for young entrepreneurs, whether you want to set up your own business or add value to an existing one as an “entrepreneurially-minded” employee.
“The best way to predict your future is to create it” ~ Peter Drucker
- Own your own brand: “My name is Kallum with a K”.
I always introduce myself and sign off personal communications like this. I embraced it and made it my own and it really works, like REALLY works! It’s a very unusual spelling which makes it memorable.
Blog about it. Do something about it. Whether it’s your local sports club, a cause that you believe in or maybe you just really like craft beer!
Whatever your thing, your passion is, make some noise about it and develop yourself into an authority on the subject, a “thought leader”.
For me, it’s entrepreneurship: startups, student enterprise and ecosystem building.
- Go networking: “It’s not what you know it’s who you know”…actually it’s who knows you!
When you’re at School, College or Uni, you have a great opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds and cultures so get out of your comfort zone and speak to people you wouldn’t normally.
However, If you want to pursue your own venture, you also need to build relationships with the wider business community.
Sadly, there aren’t many student and business networking events which is a shame as both worlds could learn so much from one another. Maybe you could set one up?
I did! My first business was a networking group, called Dunfermline Talks Business, which I launched just four months after graduating – it helped raise my profile and build a trusted community of business people (and friends!).
- Dream big and ignore the critics: your dreams should be big enough to scare you a bit – then put a date next to it and turn them into a goal!
Sadly, some people need to make themselves feel good by making others feel bad. Nothing exemplifies that more than someone pouring cold water on your dreams. Who are they to say that it won’t work or that it’s impossible?
“It always seems impossible until it’s done” ~ Nelson Mandela
Think big, really big! Few people may tell you this but you really can be whatever you want in life.
Dream big and at the same time plan and act big. A big goal requires of A LOT of effort, determination and persistence. The struggle is real and isn’t for everyone but give it a go (whilst always protecting the downside!).
To summarise, go networking, get out of your comfort zone, own your brand, dream big, ignore the critics and live the life you want to.
About Kallum “with a K” Russell
Kallum is a multi-award winning Scottish Entrepreneur: the Sunday Times Maserati 100, Virgin Media’s Pioneer of the Week, 40 Under 40 List in Scotland and a Scottish Enterprise Champion for Startup Britain.
He is co-founder and Chief Enterprise Officer of Acorn Enterprise, an organisation on a mission to grow Scotland’s (and beyond!) entrepreneurial culture!